Tuesday, July 18, 2017

My Redeemer

“For thus says the Lord: “You have sold yourselves for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money.” – Isaiah 52:3
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” – Ephesians 1:7

I carry a lot of coupons in my purse.  But this morning while praying God gave me an analogy of those coupons.  I wasn’t even thinking of them – but that’s where He showed up. 
Those coupons are NOTHING.  They’re just worthless paper, UNTIL I redeem them.  Then they could be worth 30% off at Kohl’s, or $3 off dinner at Red Lobster, or $1.00 off laundry detergent.  But until I redeem them, they’re worth no more than what they’re printed on, which is just cheap paper.  Often they expire before I redeem them, and then there’s nothing I can do about it.  They have no value at that point.

In Christ we are all offered redemption, the redeeming of our soul (worthless) for something greater (forgiveness and grace).  Many daily die without Him, which is like those coupons I let expire.  No worth was ever in them, because we are unworthy of God’s fellowship without the forgiveness of our sins.  His sacrifice on the cross, His blood, provides redemption.  But it must be used!  It won’t come to you unless you ask Him to redeem you, to be your sacrifice.
Mark 8:36 says “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”  I can redeem coupons all day long, but there is nothing of more value than having a redeemed soul.  It’s not just an insurance plan against hell, its fellowship daily while you’re alive with God.  Don’t wait till it’s too late to ask for it.  You’re missing out on living a redeemed life, having God within you (the Holy Spirit) to guide you, His grace to provide for you and lift you.    

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Focusing on Christ


“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” – Isaiah 26:3

It has been said that to know Christ is to know peace.  Without Christ in your life there can be no peace as it is only the relationship with Christ that brings peace with Father God (Ephesians 2:14).  But even with Christ in your life, even with peace in your soul, we must conquer the battle of our minds that wars against all peace. 

Isaiah describes this peace of mind as “perfect peace” because our mind becomes focused on Christ and we trust all things to Him.  Consider what He is saying.

When you’re worried about finances – the Lord is our provider, Jehovah Jirah.

When you’re worried about your health – the Lord is our healer, Jehovah Rapha.

When you’re feeling defected by the enemy – the Lord is our banner of victory, Jehovah Nissi.

When you’re feeling lost and without direction – the Lord is our shepherd, Jehovah Rohi.

When you’re feeling brought low by the sin that encompasses you – the Lord is our righteousness, Jehovah Tsidkenu.

There is no need we have that our Lord does not fulfill.  But how do we keep our mind focused on him?  What exactly do we think about?  Do we think of the various paintings and human ideals of what He looks like?  I believe we should think on the things we know are true about Him.

Think about His miracles.  Imagine yourself in the role of the one who received the miracle. 

Think about His wisdom.  What parable did He teach that speaks to your situation?

Think about His care for children, the widows, the poor, and the helpless.  We’ve all been one of these as some time.

Think about His tears over the death of His friend Lazarus.  God’s word says He is our friend as well.

Think about the simple matter that He knew where the fish were when the disciples were fishing, and told them where to throw their net. 

Think about what makes Him smile.  Yes, I think Christ did smile, and even laughed.  He was fully man and fully God.  Consider the “camel through the eye of a needle” parable.  Where would you start at pushing that camel through?  Seriously, that’s hilarious.

Whatever issues face you, your peace will always be found in looking to the One who can change it.  Prayer will ease your worries as it allows you to communicate with God, and lay it down.  But without focusing on Him, you may pick it back up and it will control your mind.  This is how satan seeks to enter in.  If you cease the worried thoughts, and replace them with pure Holy thoughts of Christ, placing all your trust in Him, there will be no worry. 
Will your problems go away?  One thing for sure, they won’t be as painful over you.  Jesus did say that a man who doubts shouldn’t expect to receive anything from him.  TRUST Christ, lean on Him, put your mind on Him when those worries begin to fill your heart with worry.  He is our perfect peace.